NCAC Partners with ECOWAS-UNESCO In Raising Awareness on Prevention and against COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Hassoum Ceesay

Under the theme: ‘Keep Safe by masking, and stay alive by getting vaccinated’ the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in partnership with the ECOWAS and UNESCO is organizing awareness raising campaign with Gambian artists.

According to Mr. Hassoum Ceesay, Director General, NCAC, ‘ the NCAC is happy to receive D500,000(five hundred thousand dalasi) grants from the ECOWAS-UNESCO Anti Covid-19 Campaign Fund for West Africa to work with various artistic associations as well as the press to implement an arts based riposte to the deadly pandemic. All the messages from more than a dozen Gambian artists who will participate, and benefit from the activities, will be centered on the theme:  ‘Keep Safe by Masking, and Stay Alive by Getting Vaccinated’, he explained.

The joint response of ECOWAS and UNESCO to support Member States in mitigating the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has orchestrated a global campaign of prevention and vaccination. Therefore, the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) of The Gambia sought support from the ECOWAS-UNESCO initiative to implement a creative and innovative communication campaign which will contribute to raising awareness on COVID-19 among the communities. The campaign will be done in Gambian national languages using the talent of Gambian artists.

The NCAC will engage the Writers Association of The Gambia; The Gambia Theatre Association, The Gambia Dance Association, The Gambia Film Producers Association, and The Gambia Music Union who will task their members to create messages relevant to Covid-19 prevention and vaccination acceptance. Operating under the hahstag#ArtsGambiaagainstCovid19, the social media publicity component will be of utmost priority.

The activities will run from May 5 through to June 16 2021 when the artistic messages will be ready for consumption by the public through electronic media. ‘Our aim is to ensure that Gambian artists have an opportunity to create against Covid-19, and also to earn an income from their creation. According to the DG, there is also a Covid-19 relief component to this activity. He clarified that NCAC is working with artistic associations because ‘we want to support them to be strong and viable. Now that all of them have elected new executives, and have benefited from Government Covid-19 Relief Fund late last year, we hope our this partnership will help to bring the associations closer to artists, and make them more relevant and responsive to their members’.

3 May 2021.

 

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